Snowden Leak Suggests NSA Is Extensively Tracking Bitcoin Users

Snowden Leak Suggests NSA Is Extensively Tracking Bitcoin Users

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been reportedly monitoring the bitcoin blockchain with an eye on identifying users on the distributed network.

According to a report bythe Intercept on Tuesday, the media outlet has obtained classified documents from the U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden which indicate bitcoin surveillance remains atop priorityfor the agency.

Documents further hint that the NSA's agenda may go beyond just tracking the bitcoin public ledger, with the agency actively analyzing global internet traffic and using scraping softwares to undermine the pseudonymity of users.

For instance, one memo from the NSA, the report cited, suggested the agency has collected private information such asbitcoin user passwords, internet activity and device identifiers.

According to the report, the NSA has been monitoring the internet activities of bitcoin users since 2013 through a program with codename asOAKSTAR. And yet the new leak suggested that with MONKEYROCKET, another sub-program under OAKSTAR, the NSA may be moving closer to pinpoint users who initiate a cryptocurrency transaction.

"SSG11 analysts have found value in the MONKEYROCKET access to help track down senders and receivers of bitcoin," one memo reads.

Leaked documents also hinted that the NSA may have been using the XKeyScore system - a powerful global internet monitoring system that was first exposed in 2013 when Snowden disclosed classified documents about the NSA's surveillance activity -to investigate bitcoin user information.

The news comes at a time when the U.S government has voiced concerns vialawmakersandlaw enforcement agencies over the illicit use of cryptocurrencies in terrorism financing and money laundering.

NSA image via Shutterstock

20.03.2018 / 21:55 56
The NSA Has Been Tracking Bitcoin Users, Snowden Papers Reveals The NSA Has Been Tracking Bitcoin
Not to be mistaken for another Jason Bourne thriller, the Edward Snowden papers show aUS government/bitcoin connection. The Intercept is reporting
Telecom Egypt Covertly Redirecting Internet Users To Crypto Mining Sites, Report Says Telecom Egypt Covertly Redirecting
A study has shown that Egyptian Internet user traffic is being manipulated by govt-linked entities to redirect users to crypto mining sites and ads.
Chinese Internet Regulators Block Cryptocurrency Exchanges on Social Media Chinese Internet Regulators Block
Despite all its previous efforts to prevent the people it rules from engaging in the online trading of cryptocurrencies, the Chinese government is
Monthly Report of GMO Internet and Its Cryptocurrency Mining Business Published Monthly Report of GMO Internet and Its
GMO Internet Inc., a major Japanese company investing in Internet-related businesses and listed on the first Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, has
Snowden Supporter Gets Wish Fulfilled and Arrested Snowden Supporter Gets Wish Fulfilled
Back in 2015, an Oregon man goaded the Federal Government to come and arrest him over a donation made to Edward Snowdens Legal Defense Fund. Almost
China is Blocking Cryptocurrency Exchanges on Social Media: Local Report China is Blocking Cryptocurrency
Regulators in China have begun blocking social media accounts belonging to cryptocurrency exchanges that continue to offer services to customers
Comments (0)
Add a comment
Comment on